December 7, 2019

Cover Reveal: If You're Reading This... by Alex Tveit


If You’re Reading This…
Author: Alex Tveit
Genre: YA Contemporary 

Publication Date: December 2019


The last thing that sixteen-year-old Petter expects while sitting on an airplane is an email from his father. Especially since his dad died of cancer five weeks earlier.

As if that emotional rollercoaster wasn’t enough, Petter’s mother thinks it’s a good idea to move them across the world from Norway to her childhood home outside of Boston.

Using emails sent from beyond the grave, Petter’s father tries to remain a source of guidance and life lessons for his son. Hidden among these teachings are also clues leading Petter out on an adventure. The last one that he would ever have with his father.

Then Petter meets Max. She joins him on his quest and becomes a bright spark of color in a world that moments before seemed very grey.

Alex Tveit grew up just outside of Oslo, Norway. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada and has authored several children's books, as well as other works of fiction and non-fiction.


December 6, 2019

The Weight of a Soul Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Weight of a Soul
Author: Elizabeth Tammi 
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Release Date: December 3, 2019
Publisher: Flux
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When Lena's younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should've lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister.

But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction.

Still, with her sister's life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She's willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?
The Weight of a Soul is an intriguing young adult novel that is centered around Viking culture and Norse mythology. I'm always excited to read any books that have mythology in them and I don't really know much about Norse myths, so this sounded perfect. The author did a wonderful job of bringing Lena's Viking village to life. It was like going back in time and watching their daily lives and routines play out right in front of me. I enjoyed learning more about the culture, history, and people from that time. The other major part of the book - the mythology - was incredibly fascinating for me. I absolutely devoured all of the stories of the gods and goddesses, the different worlds, and various myths that are talked about. I feel like I learned a lot about it from a sociological angle as well as a much more first-hand belief system. Since the story is told from Lena's point of view, we learn everything right along with her as the story goes on. It made the gods and goddesses and these places seem so realistic and easy to believe in. I really love that we get an up close look at Norse mythology from a couple different angles throughout the whole book.

That was probably the aspect of the book that I enjoyed most. The plot had great potential and the author wove a good narrative that kept me intrigued and engaged for the most part. The one big thing that bugged me was Lena's basic obsession with her sister Fressa. Fressa's only in the story for like 2 chapters, but it felt like the whole book was actually centered around Lena's obsession with her and bringing her back from the dead. And I completely understand that they're sisters, best friends, and all of that - but it felt like the story took it a couple steps up from there. I feel like 90% of Lena's thoughts, emotions, memories, and actions all had to do with Fressa. I was okay with it at first when she decides to make a deal with Hela to get her back, but then it just started to annoy me. Honestly, it bugged me so much that I almost had to stop reading. The only thing that made me keep going was the mythological aspect of the book. 

Lena was a great main character and I grew to really love her during the story. She's realistic and filled with tons of varying emotions all the time - love, hate, rage, sadness - and she has both good and bad traits just like all the rest of us. Another big thing for me is always the writing style - mainly the point of view the story is written from. I basically always prefer the first person POV. I think it lets the reader get a deeper and more personal connection with the narrator and it pulls you into the story itself. Sadly, this book was written in the third person from Lena's perspective. That was kind of strike two for me. Without having that connection with Lena and getting lost in her world, I couldn't connect on a level that I prefer. It just makes me feel like I'm reading a story - not actually losing myself inside of one and feeling like I'm experiencing everything right alongside the narrator. The other characters were pretty flat and stereotypical, which was a bummer. Again - these are my own personal thoughts and opinions and obviously not everyone is going to feel the same way. I do recommend it for fans of historical fiction, historical fantasy, Viking culture, Norse mythology, and stories about quests and journeys.
Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at (annabethisterrified), Twitter at (@ElizabethTammi), Instagram at (elizabeth_tammi), and at
Win (1) of (5) finished copies of THE WEIGHT OF A SOUL by Elizabeth Tammi (INT)
Starts: December 3, 2019
Ends: December 17, 2019

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December 5, 2019

Between Wild & Ruin Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Between Wild & Ruin

Author: Jennifer G. Edelson
Release Date: October 6, 2019
Publisher: Bad Apple Books

Paperback: 414 pages 
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1733514007
ISBN-13: 978-1733514002


Truth, like love, isn't always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, La Luna’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears near the ruin, Ruby finds herself teetering between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where spirits and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

Set against a Northern New Mexico backdrop, Between Wild and Ruin is a young adult coming-of-age story that captures the wild and whimsical pulse of New Mexico through the eyes of teens Ruby Brooks, Angel Ruiz, and Ezra Lucero. The first book in the Wild and Ruin series, Between Wild and Ruin explores the time-tested credo ‘never judge a book by its cover’ through a paranormal lens, weaving Puebloan and Hispanic folklore and Southwest cultural narratives into tightly written, high-concept fiction ‘brimming with mystery, intrigue,’ and as Kirkus Reviews puts it, an “intriguing historical drama and an over-the top quadrangle romance.” 


“What could be a corny premise turns into an exhilarating, fun ride in Edelson’s adept hands. Her characters are smartly drawn, and readers will easily identify with Ruby, a strong yet insecure young artist on the verge of adulthood, who is still recovering from her tragic past...Fans of Twilight and modern fairy tales will fall in love with Ruby and root for her eventual romance.” — Blue Ink Review (Starred Review)

“Between Wild and Ruin is a stunning story of legends, romance, and destiny with themes of starting over, small towns, beauty, and community ...Edelson perfectly breathes new life in mythology by honoring the oral tradition of a small community and the ruins that bring to life Ruby's destiny.” — Manhattan Book Review

“Highly recommended to mature teens through new adult and adult audiences, this is a story that lingers in the mind long after its final revelation.” — Midwest Book Review

“A great addition to young adult urban fantasy.” — Seattle Book Review

“Descriptions of the New Mexico landscape are rich and atmospheric, arousing the senses with references to the scent of smoke and juniper, the predatory roar of mountain lions, and the brilliant dazzle of stars in the desert sky...The writing conveys a sense of timelessness, making it easy to believe Ruby’s sense that the land is spirit-haunted and that Leo, the handsome young man she encounters near the ruins, is somehow connected to it all.” — Clarion Forward

“An intriguing historical tale and an over-the-top love-quadrangle romance.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The paranormal aspects of the tale are credible and richly steeped in traditional lore, and the plot is finely crafted...Between Wild and Ruin is most highly recommended.” — Reader’s Favorite (5-Star Review)

You can purchase Between Wild & Ruin at the following Retailers:


After walking through dense stands of pine trees, I follow the remnants of what may have been a trail toward the top of the mountain. Higher up, the pines and junipers dappling the mountainside grow taller, but there aren’t as many. As they thin, small gusts of wind whistle through the forest, echoing through the trees. Otherwise, the forest is completely silent.

Closer to the top of the mountain, the rocky ground levels off and the land spreads across a plateau below the mountain’s peak. Unlike the forest, the plateau is more like a jungle, marked by thick hanging moss and clusters of tall, unidentifiable conifers. Trees stand like sentries several rows deep. Beyond them, fallen logs lie scattered among overgrown shrubs and boulders in circular bands like rings on a tree. I walk through it all, making my way past thick brush into a clearing.

Fresh sap and damp earth assault my nose. Under bright sunlight, large, rough-cut slabs of glittery rock blanket the otherwise bare field. Some lie stacked on top of each other like the crumbling remains of a building. Awestruck, I circle the structure, running my fingers over what looks like a ruin.

“Incredible, isn’t it?”

A voice behind me sends my heart racing toward my throat. I jump, whipping around to find a young man leaning casually against a pine near the clearing’s perimeter, looking off to his left as though listening for something.

Even in the shade, his face glows. He smiles, showing off teeth that gleam like snowflakes between perfect lips. Hair as dark as Liddy’s French roast coffee falls around his face in unruly waves. His features are angular but refined, and his high, rounded cheeks soften the striking juxtaposition.

I blink, then blink again. Ruby. I rub my eyes. You’re hallucinating. But he’s still there, staring at me.

While I gawk, he pushes himself off the tree. “Not many people make it up here.” He smiles broadly.

A soft, purple-hued halo circles his golden irises, catching fire in the sunlight. They settle on me, and my heart stops, completely paralyzed by his faultless storybook features.

I exhale, trying to swallow inconspicuously. “It’s definitely a hike.”

“Who are you?”

“Who am I?” I sputter. “Who are you?”

“Leo.” He grins.

“I’m Ruby.”

“Ruby.” My name rolls off his tongue with a smooth “R” and a musical lilt. Somehow, he even manages to make it sound appealing. “First time up?”

“Yes. We just moved to La Luna.”

“La Luna,” he repeats. “Welcome.”

“Thanks,” I mumble. Earth to Ruby, I mentally smack myself. Since when has any boy made you senseless?

“You okay?” He smiles like he knows I’m not. Like he knows why I’m not. “Do you want to sit down? The altitude can be a bitch if you’re not used to it.”

“No. I mean, yes, I’m fine. No, I don’t want to sit down. You just really startled me. You should announce yourself next time.”

“Next time?”

“Next time you sneak up on somebody.”

Leo raises a perfect dark eyebrow. “But then it wouldn’t be sneaking, would it?”

My cheeks flush, and I suddenly want to drop through a hole in the ground. I choke out, “Ummm,” and something incoherent and then stare at my toes like they hold the keys to my future.

Copyright © 2019 by Jennifer G. Edelson
Photo Credit: Shoshanna Bettencourt

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving years in the Minnesota tundra. Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people—if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you.

DECEMBER 5th THURSDAY Stephanie's Life of Determination REVIEW & GUEST POST
DECEMBER 6th FRIDAY Gwendalyn's Books REVIEW

DECEMBER 9th MONDAY Insane About Books REVIEW 
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December 4, 2019

SHINE! Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Author: J.J. Grabenstein & Chris Grabenstein 
Release Date:November 5, 2019 
Publisher: Random House Children's Books 
Formats:Hardcover, eBook, audiobook 
Pages: 210 

Find it:Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

"Inspirational, commonsensical, and a whole lot of fun." --James Patterson   

Everyone deserves to shine in this sparkling new book from the New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library , Chris Grabenstein, and coauthor J.J. Grabenstein--just right for fans of Word of Mouse and The Fourteenth Goldfish.   

"Who do you want to be?" asks Mr. Van Deusen. "And not when you grow up. Right here, right now."   

Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper's hero--astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse--but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she's just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, since her dad's new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn't fit in.   

Bursting with humor, heart, science, possibilities, and big questions, Shine! is a story about finding your place in the universe--a story about figuring out who you are and who you want to be. 

Co-author J.J. Grabenstein reads the first chapter of SHINE!:

J.J. Grabenstein is the co-author, with her husband, Chris Grabenstein, of SHINE! This is her first novel as a co-author but she has been the "first editor" on everything her husband has ever written, including the award-winning/bestselling ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY series and more than fifty other works. 

J.J. and Chris live in New York City with their cat Phoebe Squeak. 

CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY, MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY OLYMPICS, THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS, WELCOME TO WONDERLAND: HOME SWEET MOTEL and many other books, as well as the coauthor of numerous fun and funny page-turners with James Patterson, including I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, TREASURE HUNTERS, and JACKY HA-HA. Chris lives in New York City with his wife, J.J., two cats, and a dog named Fred. You can visit Chris at  


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(3) winners will receive a finished copy of SHINE! - US Only. 

Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 

Week Two: 

Week Three: 

Week Four: 
Smada's Book Smack  

Week Five: